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Anne, Master Tax Preparer
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 2439
Experience:  Enrolled Agent with 25 Years Experience specializing Individual and Small Businesses
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I am filing Tax and I have few questions. Background: - I am

Customer Question

I am filing for 2015 Tax and I have few questions.
- I am a new immigrant to US
- My wife is a US Citizen and I am from a country with no Us Tax Treaty
- I got the green card in Mid Sep, 2015
- We both lived in UAE all of 2015 (Jan to Dec), we moved to the US in March 2016
- For 2014, my wife filed "Married Filing Separately” on Form 1040 with a foreign income exclusion Form 2555-EZ, as I was not a US resident yet
- For 2015, she had no income, she is a dependent of me (housewife)
- My employer is a foreign company in Dubai with no US presence at all
- All the work was done in Dubai, No business trips to US
- My total monthly income in Dubai was above 9k (annual 100,800 / Jan to Dec 2015)
- Will it be easier if we file separately because I have two periods (I became a tax payer only after mid Sep)?
- If we file jointly, how do we fill the dates for each of us in the foreign income exclusion form 2555-EZ? (For her it’s 365 days, for me it will only be the days from mid Sep until end of Dec, right?, can we have separate dates? She is a dependent)
- Can she file separately yet I claim her as a dependent?
- If we file separately, what forms should I use?
- If we file separately, we will report zero income for her, is that ok?
- What advice can you give us in general?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Anne replied 1 year ago.


I'm Anne. I've been preparing taxes for 28 years, and I'll be happy to help you.

I'm confused about your question.

I understand that you got your green card in Sept of 2015., but you also state that you lived in UAE all year, (Jan-Dec 2015) if that's the case, then you can still file married filing jointly, and exclude up to $100,800 of foreign income by filing Form 2555.

Please advise

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi, Yes, I got the green card but I did not move immediately to the US. I moved 5 months later. So I became a tax payer but living and working outside the US.
I think I should exclude more than $100,800 because my income was not taxable up to mid sep, right? So I should pay tax on a pro-rata, right?
Expert:  Anne replied 1 year ago.

You can exclude UP to $100,800, because that is the MAXIMUM $ amount that can be excluded for 2015.

You do qualify to use the full exclusion amount, since you still lived overseas for the entire year, so you can still file the Form 2555, no pro rata. You do not need to pro rate anything. You were a green card holder still working outside the US, and that qualifies you for the full exclusion. Please see Form 2555.

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Expert:  Anne replied 1 year ago.

I wanted to make sure that I explained this a little better.

You may only use the full exclusion because you are married to a US citizen, and you file a joint return. You made the fist year choice, so even though she has no income, you set the precedence if you choose to follow it this year.

Should you choose to file separately, you would lose the ability to claim any exclusion, and you would have to pay tax on that portion that you earned from the time your green card was granted until 02/31/2015.

I hope this helps.

Expert:  Anne replied 1 year ago.

I wanted to check back with you to see if you had any additional questions on how you should file this year.

Do you have any questions? Is there any thing else I can help you with?

If so, please post them & I'll be notified.

If not, please remember to rate positive

Thank you